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Armed Citizen
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Discussion Starter #1
I took the stance that if your state isn't like my state which allows crossbow hunting in archery season by ALL then you are either wrong or must provide good reason. Now I understand if you have disease or a dwindling population from bad weather or whatever. In that case you would not want to open doors for the crossbow hunter because we will decimate the harvest (sarcasm and myth). I decided to work my way south from Ohio and see if these states can tell me why I can't crossbow hunt. The first obvious choice was West Virginia. This is the email I sent them:

Please explain to me why the crossbow is not a legal hunting weapon to ALL hunters during archery season in your state. Please define in the greatest detail possible and quote the laws to the exact letter.
Thank You

My prediction is none of them respond. In the event a few do respond it's going to be a one sided argument for verticals. Whee!
 

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Armed Citizen
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Discussion Starter #2
Update!

The response to my email:
As you can see from the attached copy of the law, the Legislature established crossbow specifications and eligibility requirements an individual must meet before he/she could hunt in West Virginia with a crossbow.

Please review the law and send me any questions you may have for me. If you are unable to open the Word document, send me your postal address and a copy of the law will be placed in the mail.

Lt. Colonel J. B. Jenkins
DNR Law Enforcement

The attachment was this:


ENROLLED

COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE

FOR

Senate Bill No. 575

(Senators Bowman, McKenzie, Kessler and Edgell, original sponsors)

____________

[Passed April 9, 2005; in effect ninety days from passage.]

____________



AN ACT to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto two new sections, designated 20-2-5g and 20- 2-42, all relating to authorizing crossbow hunting for certain disabled persons; providing crossbow specifications; and establishing permit requirements.


Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto two new sections, designated 20-2-5g and 20-2-42, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2. WILDLIFE RESOURCES.
20-2-5g. Use of a crossbow by certain physically disabled persons.
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, a person who possesses a valid Class Y permit in accordance with section forty-two of this article may, during the designated archery hunting season, hunt with a crossbow.
:)D Only crossbows meeting all of the following specifications may be used for hunting in West Virginia:
(1) The crossbow has a minimum draw weight of one hundred twenty-five pounds;
(2) The crossbow has a working safety; and
(3) The crossbow is used with bolts and arrows not less than eighteen inches in length with a broad head having at least two sharp cutting edges, measuring at least 3/4 of an inch in width.

20-2-42. Class Y special crossbow hunting permit for certain disable persons.


(a) On or after the first day of January, two thousand six, a Class Y permit shall be a special statewide hunting permit and shall entitle the permittee to hunt all wildlife during established archery seasons. An application shall be furnished by the director and a Class Y permit allowing the holder to use a crossbow, during the archery hunting seasons, to applicants who meet the following requirements:
(1) He or she holds a Class Q permit;
(2) He or she has a permanent and substantial loss of function in one or both hands while failing to meet the minimum standards of the upper extremity pinch, grip and nine-hole peg tests administered under the direction of a licensed physician; or
(3) A permanent and substantial loss of function in one or both shoulders while failing to meet the standards of the standard shoulder strength test, administered under the direction of a licensed physician.
:)) The application form shall include a written statement or report prepared by a physician, prepared no more than six months preceding the application and verifying that the applicant is physically disabled as described in this section. As part of the application, the applicant shall authorize, by written release, an examination of all medical records regarding his or her qualifying disability. When completed, the permit form constitutes a Class Y permit. The Class Y permit and a completed license application shall be submitted to the Division, which will issue a wallet-sized card to the permittee. The card and all other documents and identification required to be carried by this article shall be in the permittee's possession when hunting.
(c) A Class Y permit must be accompanied by a valid statewide hunting license or the applicant must be exempt from hunting licenses as provided in this chapter.
 

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Armed Citizen
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Discussion Starter #3
Followup email

Thank you for your prompt response. The information you provided explains the limitations of crossbow use in archery season and who may use a crossbow during said season. What the information you provided fails to explain is why. I fail to understand why ALL able bodied or otherwise hunters are not allowed to use a crossbow to harvest deer in West Virginia. Crossbows have the same limitations as a vertical bow. They use the same arrows as a vertical bow (slightly shorter). They use the same broad heads as a vertical bow. Accuracy and range limitations are virtually identical between both bows. Due to modern technology they are shooting their projectiles at virtually the same speeds and kinetic energy.
I'll rephrase my original question slightly and add a couple.
Why must I have a physical limitation to legally use a crossbow in your state? Why is the crossbow excluded from archery seasons for able bodied hunters? Can the crossbow be used by an able bodied hunter during your firearm season or any other season?
Thanks again.
-Dan A.-
 

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Armed Citizen
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Discussion Starter #4
Response to followup email

This is the answer to my next email:

As I scrolled down your e-mail I saw that Lt. Colonel Jenkins sent you a copy of the Legislation.

Now to get to the heart of your question; I am sure you are familiar with how lobbyists and special interest groups influence the Legislature. There is strong support from both to keep crossbows totally banned from hunting in West Virginia. A few years ago, the Director of the DNR established a Physically Challenged Advisory Committee to advise him on physically challenged issues for the hunters and fishermen of WV. Out of that committee came the recommendation for some type of crossbow hunting for the physically challenged. The current specifications and limitations is the result of a compromise between the lobbyists and the legislature and DNR.

You, as a private citizen of WV, have the right to contact your State Senator or Delegate and express your opinion and try to get crossbow hunting legalized. If you belong to a sportsman club, I would encourage you to try to get the club to speak as a group to get your message out.

I hope I have answered your concerns!

Lt. Coleman
DNR Law Enforcement Section
 

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Senior Member
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It's nuts

Here in neighboring Virginia, where crossbows are legal to hunt in archery season by anyone that chooses to do so, things have gone smoothly from this law's inception. Hats off to Virginia for allowing more folks to bowhunt in our state that wouldn't otherwise. I think Virginia is a shining example of the positive effects of adding crossbows to the list of allowable hunting weapons for both archery and gun hunting seasons.
 

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You can also get the stats from VA's xbow/compound hunting results. The success rates for xbow vs compound are less than 1% difference for the two groups. All the squabble was over less then 1% difference. Go figure?
Tell them to create a new and different xbow license fee like VA did and when they see dollar signs all else is mute.
 

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Armed Citizen
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Discussion Starter #7
Big-Bird-VA said:
You can also get the stats from VA's xbow/compound hunting results. The success rates for xbow vs compound are less than 1% difference for the two groups. All the squabble was over less then 1% difference. Go figure?
Tell them to create a new and different xbow license fee like VA did and when they see dollar signs all else is mute.
That's not exactly a bad idea Big-Bird but it's not exactly a good one. Not in all states but in this one I feel the license fees are enough. I am a regular resident of the state of Ohio with no special discounts. To take one deer of either sex I must first own a hunting license $19. I may then purchase a deer tag for $24. If I would like to take additional antlerless deer the cost is $15 per deer and the limit is divided by zones. In my zone I can take 3 deer.
Now lets say I want the minimum package. I want to hunt legally and take one deer of either sex that is my choice. I am a meat hunter and don't care if it has horns or not. My preference is a 1.5 year old doe for meat. That means it costs me $43 dollars to take a single doe in the size I like to serve. Now if I use a butcher either private or public to process that deer into the simplest cuts and burger I will have to pay the going rate. In my area and pretty much state wide you can do steaks roasts and burger for $45 to $65. I butcher my own deer so this figure has no outcome for me personally but I expect it does for others.
Let's go with my local butcher's rate at $45 plus the $43 dollars for the tags and license. Now it costs me $88 to put that deer on my table. If I don't add any fat or request a special recipe for summer sausage or brats or whatever I am gonna pay $88 for the deer no matter what. My time, ammo, gas, equipment costs are all assumed to be free at this point. If you came to visit me with nothing but a T-shirt and a pair of jeans and I handed you everything you need to harvest that deer for free then you would still be out $88 to be legal if you were a resident in this state and did not self butcher the animal.
What would this cost you per pound on the table?
In my area of the state the does in this age group average 90lbs of clean meat in return. It could be as low as 60lbs and as high as 110lbs depending on the area you hunt in. These figures assume you de-bone every cut and don't share the meat grinder with others.
So for a 90lb meat return from the butcher you are in for $1.02/pound. When you factor in all the other elements that create an expense like gas and equipment costs it takes that per pound rate close to $2 per pound.
Now think hard all of you about this next part. What does that make me want to do as a hunter? For me personally it makes me want to shoot the healthier thicker animal to get more value from my harvest. That in return has a cascading effect on the existing herd because everyone wants to shoot the most meat possible. This is a recipe for disaster in my opinion. My preference in taste limits me to the -2.5 year olds thank god! But who else has thought of this?
I am not poor. I am not rich either. Venison has been a part of my diet as long as I can remember. But if we start breaking it down to price per pound it will damage the resource quicker than the rise in gas prices.
 

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Armed Citizen
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Discussion Starter #9
dennis said:
Dan, were did you harvest that buck at that you use as avatar ?
That is probably my once in a life timer. It was taken on opening day of deer gun season in 1992 in the evening in the lower section of Vinton county. It had a B&C score with 15 points at 178 3/8 and got me into the Buckeye Big Bucks books. We have taken some massive non typical from the state since then so I have probably been scrolled down the list quite a ways if not off it. It had a broken point that would have easily been scoreable that would have put me over the 180 mark. I keep waiting for that next wall hanger but let everything that looks to score less than him walk. I saw a 12 pointer one year that made me clench my teeth but I figured he was in the 150's at best. We currently have a 6 pointer that had a massive rack last year and looked to be very young on the property. Not sure if he survived the season as all the deer are in velvet right now. I doubt he made it though. I was able to stop him with a whistle at 75 yards after jumping him last year for a nice long look so not the brightest buck. If he makes it to 5.5 years he will be the next monster on someone's wall for sure. I am mainly a meat hunter and don't concern myself with the racks much but this six pointer impressed me. I just can't bring myself to shoot the kings of the forest unless they top what I already have. This practice has improved the local herd quite a bit in my opinion. I have no desire to clutter my wall with deer mounts but I sure as heck would like to break that 180 barrier but I probably won't pull the trigger till I know I have a 200+. I still keep my freezer full with the 1.5 year old does and thats good enough for me. That buck was a total fluke and case of being in the right place at the right time. I knew his territory and saw plenty of sign from him but chose to hunt a mile or more up the road in my secret area for gun season. And wouldn't you know it a nosy neighbor heard my cousin shooting and came running to investigate for trespassers. He jumped it and ran him broadside to me at a slow but steady pace (a trot) at around 50 yards. I just couldn't pass it up. 1 shot through the heart and he was down in less than 30 yards and kicked for about 15 seconds. It's a long detailed story that I am sure would bore the most avid hunter.

If I had to judge by body I think this is the 6 pointer I stopped last year in this photo taken on 6-08-08 but it's still too early to tell. This is from a low res camera too making it even harder to tell:
 

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buckeye dan said:
That's not exactly a bad idea Big-Bird but it's not exactly a good one. Not in all states but in this one I feel the license fees are enough...................
What they did was create a new xbow license. So if I only hunt with xbow I buy that instead of the compound license. I do not pay more. The state gets more $$$ when people that in the past quit compound hunting and couldn't meet the handicapped requirements or didn't want to jump through hoops to get it. Not everyone wants to admit they are handicapped or be labeled as such. A guy I know has vision issues. He can't shoot worth a crap with pins but would not in any way meet the physical handicapped requirements. He can however see perfectly through a scope. Ask his first turkey with a bow he took this spring. No way he could have hit a bird with a compound. This keeps a hunter in the sport and brings in $$$ to the state. Everyone wins. ;)
 

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Armed Citizen
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Discussion Starter #11
Big-Bird-VA said:
What they did was create a new xbow license. So if I only hunt with xbow I buy that instead of the compound license. I do not pay more. The state gets more $$$ when people that in the past quit compound hunting and couldn't meet the handicapped requirements or didn't want to jump through hoops to get it. Not everyone wants to admit they are handicapped or be labeled as such. A guy I know has vision issues. He can't shoot worth a crap with pins but would not in any way meet the physical handicapped requirements. He can however see perfectly through a scope. Ask his first turkey with a bow he took this spring. No way he could have hit a bird with a compound. This keeps a hunter in the sport and brings in $$$ to the state. Everyone wins. ;)
I guess I don't fully understand how your license system works. If I were to buy a crossbow license and wanted to use a regular bow or a gun would those be separate licenses? Do you guy's not use deer tags? Or did you mean a deer tag for a crossbow is what you have to buy in addition to a regular hunting license?
 
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